Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Fishing Report
BY Jim Harris
Aug. 4, 2022
Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
Reports are updated weekly, although some reports may be published for two weeks if updates are not received promptly or if reporters say conditions haven’t changed. Contact the reporter for current news for the lake or stream you plan to fish.
TOP AND LEFT: A youngster named Sydney from Tennessee caught a lunker of a rainbow trout, a fish that measured 22 inches and was caught in the Beaver Lake Dam tailwater in northwest Arkansas. Guide Austin Kennedy took Sydney and family out on the water for a memorable day. Austin says that before the weekend’s rain, the trick in the heat had been finding deeper water and fishing with light terminal tackle with various dough baits, such as Pautzke Fire Bait. When the sun gets up, anglers may have to switch to a spoon (coat with Pautzke Fire Gel).
Arkansas River and White River levels are available at: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lzk
For real-time information on stream flow in Arkansas from the U.S. Geological Survey, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/rt
For water-quality statistics (including temperature) in many Arkansas streams and lakes, visit: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ar/nwis/current/?type=quality
Craig D. Campbell Lake Conway Reservoir
(updated 8-4-2022) Bates Field and Stream (501-470-1846) reported that the lake has the normal stain and is at normal level. No surface temperature was recorded. Bream are good on redworms, crickets and tied-hair jigs. Crappie are biting fairly well in deep water on minnows or jigs. Black bass reports are still good. Buzzbaits, worms, anything that resembles a baitfish and jigs all are recommended. Catfish are good on stink bait, chicken liver, dough bait, nightcrawlers, goldfish, shad, skipjack and trot line minnows.
Little Red River
The Army Corps of Engineers reports the outflow at Greers Ferry Dam to be 20 cfs (turbine) as of 9 a.m. Thursday, August 4. Generation on Wednesday was 3-7 p.m. and averaged 6,300 cfs. Greers Ferry Lake is 3.5 feet below normal conservation pool. Check with the Corps website for real-time release data or by calling (501) 362-5150). Also check the Southwestern Power Administration website (swpa.gov) to see forecast generation schedule.
(updated 8-4-2022) Mike Winkler of Little River Fly Fishing Trips (501-507-3688) said always check the Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock app for the generation schedule before heading out; it is subject to change. The Southwestern Power Administration (www.swpa.org) has been running a consistent generation schedule for several weeks now – two units of generation usually starting around 2 p.m. and running until 7 p.m. “I’d expect the same generation schedule to continue as long as we have temperatures in the 90s and a heat index in the 100s. The weekend schedule has been similar with some reduced flows.” The best bite has been early morning before it gets hot. Try fishing the deep holes and oxygenated riffles and along the moss beds. Drift-fishing the falling water from the boat has been good. Pheasant tails, guide’s choice hare’s ears and midges have been producing. Try fishing a slump-buster or a conehead woolly bugger.
(updated 8-4-2022) Lowell Myers of Sore Lip’em All Guide Service (501-230-0730) said, “We continue to see an afternoon and early evening generation pattern from the Greers Ferry Dam of 4-6 hours on weekdays with less generation on weekends on the Little Red River. This pattern provides good wading opportunities on the upper river in the mornings and down on the lower river in the afternoons. During hot temperatures, try to limit the time a trout is out of the water to reduce potential stress. We suggest small pheasant tails, hare’s ears, frenchies and midges for fly fishing. For Trout Magnet fishing, use hot pink colored bodies on chartreuse or gold jig heads.
(updated 7-28-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood said the Corps of Engineers is running water late in the evenings and water is clear. Trout are good on pink and white Trout Magnets and No. 5 Rapala Countdowns in rainbow and brown trout color and an eighth-ounce olive marabou jigs.
Greers Ferry Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 459.03 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 462.54 feet msl, top flood elevation 487.0 msl).
(updated 8-4-2022) Tommy Cauley of Fishfinder Guide Service (501-940-1318) said, The water level is 3.51 feet below normal pool. The water temperature is hot, but fish have to eat. Crappie are good day or night all over the lake and rivers at various depths. Some are shallow, some are 50 feet deep. Try jigs, minnows and live bait. Catfish are good as well day or night on jugs and trotlines with many different baits. Black bass are good on topwater lures in the morning or something dragged on the bottom during the heat of the day. Walleye have no report. Bream are chewing and guarding fry. They are biting on crawlers, crickets and small moving baits from shallow water and out to 25 feet deep. Hybrid and white bass are 25-60 feet deep chewing at will all over the lake on in-line spinners, swim baits, spoons and live bait.
(updated 8-4-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) in Sherwood checked out Greers Ferry Lake again and found crappie biting well in 35-45 feet of water on ⅛-ounce jigs in white-and-chartreuse or monkey milk colors.
Harris Brake Lake
(updated 8-4-2022) Harris Brake Lake Resort (501-889-2745) said Tuesday afternoon that the water is normal level, but slightly stained. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. No reports on anything else.
(updated 8-4-2022) Johnny “Catfish” Banks at Overcup Bait Shop and R.V. Park (501-354-9007) off Arkansas Highway 9 said the water is about one and a half feet low; clarity is good. Surface temperature is around 90 degrees. Bass are biting well on crankbaits and plastic worms. Crappie are still being caught in 12 to 14 feet of water using jigs tipped with minnows. Catfish are doing good at night on limb lines and jugs baited with nightcrawlers and large minnows. Bream are slow, but they should pick up on the next full moon. Johnny says, “Come see us for all of your fishing needs, we have perch again.”
(update 8-4-2022) David Hall at Dad’s Bait Shop (501-289-2210) says the water is clear and at normal level. Bream are good on redworms and crickets around brushpiles. Crappie are good. Anglers are still finding them by spider-rigging chartreuse/white jigs and minnows in the channel. Black bass are good in deep cover; try slow-rolling a white spinnerbait. Catfish are good on goldfish and black salties.
Dad’s is a 24/7 self-serve bait shop.
(updated 8-4-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) reports that bass are good in 10-15 feet of water on drop shot rigs and Carolina rigs.
Arkansas River at Morrilton
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Ormond Lock and Dam was 3,125 cfs. Flow further upriver at Dardanelle Lock and Dam there was no flow.
Little Maumelle River
(updated 8-4-2022) Ray Hudson at River Valley Marina (501-517-1250) says the river is clear and at normal level. Crappie are good on minnows. Black bass are good on topwaters and plastic worms. Catfish are good on chicken liver, mainly in the evenings and at night. No reports on bream.
Arkansas River (Maumelle Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Toad Suck Lock and Dam was 1,349 cfs.
Arkansas River (Little Rock Area Pools)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Murray Lock and Dam was 0 cfs, and the stream gauge stage was falling at 7.40 feet. The elevation is 249.13 feet msl and the tailwater is at 231.16 feet msl. Flow at the Terry Lock and Dam was 0 cfs.
(updated 8-4-2022) Fish ’N Stuff (501-834-5733) says black bass are good in 5-10 feet of water on shaky heads and medium-diving crankbaits.
(updated 8-4-2022) Zimmerman’s Exxon (501-944-2527) said they hear bream are biting well on the river in the backwaters; use redworms and crickets. Catfishing is good below the dams. Bass are biting in the early morning on topwater. Crappie are 15-20 feet deep off the ends of jetties on minnows and jigs.
(updated 7-28-2022) Hatchet Jack’s Sports Shop at Crystal Hill (501-758-4958) says catfish continue to be a good target in the pool. According to anglers, they are good on skipjack and live bait.
Clear Lake (off Arkansas River-Little Rock Pool)
(updated 8-4-2022) McSwain Sports Center (501-945-2471) said Tuesday afternoon that the lake lives up to its name in clarity, but the water is low. They reported that they have not had a lot of people fishing lately.
(update 7-28-2022) Donna Mulherin at Herman’s Landing (870-626-6899) said the lake remains clear and low, but she’s seeing no stumps showing. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Crappie are fair for anglers trolling minnows or jigs. Catfish are good using typical catfish baits. No reports have come in lately on black bass.
(updated 8-4-2022) Cotter Trout Dock (870-435-6525) said The White River below Bull Shoals Dam has seen a lot of ups and downs this week. After several weeks of steady high water, we are now experiencing extremely low levels throughout the morning and into early afternoon when releases increase to 6,000 cfs, then 11,000, later up to 21,000 cfs. Low water is ideal for fishing from the shore and for wading enthusiasts. Those fishing from jon boats must locate and remain in the narrow channel. Be courteous to others. Often trout become skittish with rapid changes in water level, but the bite has remained ver good. Fluctuating water levels require a variety of baits. The staples include yellow and pink PowerBait, 1/6-ounche red and gold spoons, a few jigs including white, black and olive green and maybe a Rapala (the brook trout has been favored). Nightcrawlers or redworms are a must. Berkely Hit Sticks have been making a hit on the river as well. Grasshoppers are coming in a little early. Try yellow or green hopper baits and skip them on the river to attract some curious browns. Stay aware of water levels and get safely to shore when you notice the rise coming. It’s easy to get so focused on catching trout that you don’t notice the water until it’s at your knees!
(updated 8-4-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service said Monday last week they had several rain events (combined for 2.25 inches in Cotter), brutally hot temperatures (to include heat advisories) and moderate winds. The lake level at Bull Shoals fell 2.3 feet to rest at 7 feet above power pool of 661 feet msl. This is 27 feet below the top of flood pool. Upstream, Table Rock Lake fell 0.1 foot to rest at 2.7 feet below power pool and 16.6 feet below the top of flood pool. Beaver Lake fell 1.2 feet to rest at 2 feet above power pool or 6.7 feet below the top of flood pool. Norfork Lake fell 0.8 foot to rest at 5 feet above power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 19.2 feet below the top of flood pool. The White and the Norfork tailwater finally had a few hours of wadable water last week.
With the current lake levels, we can expect high water for a few weeks. The prediction for the lakes to reach power pool has been updated to Aug. 16.
On the White, the hot spot has been Rim Shoals. The hot flies were Y2Ks, prince nymphs, zebra midges (black with silver wire and silver bead or red with silver wire and silver bead), pheasant tails, copper Johns, pink and cerise San Juan worms, gold ribbed hare’s ears and sowbugs. Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a cerise San Juan worm with a girdle bug. Remember, the White River, Norfork Dam tailwater and Dry Run Creek are infected with didymo, an invasive alga. Thoroughly clean and dry your waders (especially the felt soles on wading boots) before using them in any other water. Many manufacturers are now making rubber-soled wading boots that are easier to clean and are not as likely to harbor didymo.
(updated 8-4-2022) Dave McCulley, owner of Jenkins Fishing Service in Calico Rock, said “It was good to get the rain last week. It is nice to see grass turning green again. The rain didn’t affect the fishing, which remained steady this week. On Monday, a 21.5-inch and 7-plus pound rainbow was caught near the bridge in Calico Rock. Silver in-line spinners with sunrise or orange power eggs topped with shrimp worked the best this week to catch a limit of rainbow trout. There has been more variation in the water levels this week. Since Monday, we are seeing the water levels crest between 9 and 10 feet in the morning and drop as low as 5 to 6 feet by the evening. As the water drops during the day, the fishing picks up. Be careful during the lower water levels. There are places where you could run your boat over gravel bars, etc. The water will be more shallow and can damage motors and props. Fishing the shallow gravel bars and shoals has been the most productive. Later in the day, throwing ¼-ounce spoons worked well. The AGFC used their pontoon raft to stock more than 4,800 rainbow trout from Calico Rock to Sylamore Creek 18 miles downriver.
Bull Shoals Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 667.61 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 661.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 695.00 feet msl). Total outflow from the dam at 9 a.m. Thursday was 6,297 cfs. The reported lake elevation at Table Rock Lake was 914.02 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 917.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 931.0 feet msl), with outflow of 1,588 cfs.
(updated 8-4-2022) Del Colvin at Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock said on Tuesday the water temperature is 88 degrees give or take. Typical summer patterns are working. There are always shallow fish, but the heat and falling water has lots of bait over the old river. Target channel swings and ledges close to deep water. Use a topwater Lucky Craft gunfish in the early morning. When topwater slows, a ½-oz. flutter spoon in a shad pattern or a small swimbait would be best. Then, move to a mooneye Tater Shad, drop shot or Jewel spoon to target schooling fish. A lot of fish have moved deep with the warm temperatures. Brush piles are also coming into play with lower water levels. If you are a power fisherman, get in the backs of feeder creeks that have shad. The creek fish have pulled back with the water coming down. Topwater will slow when the sun starts getting high. Move out and switch to a Jewel special ops football jig in green pumpkin orange or a green pumpkin Ned rig. Fishing around channel swings. standing timber ledges and lay downs with beavers and Zoom Ol’ Monster worms in green pumpkin/red, red shad and plum are all working.
Del regularly posts new YouTube videos. Visit his YouTube site (Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock) for more information and tips on fishing Bull Shoals Lake.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reported the lake’s elevation at 560.01 feet msl (normal conservation pool: Sept.-April, 553.75 feet msl; April-Sept. 556.25 feet msl; top flood elevation 580.0 feet msl). Total outflow from Norfork Dam at 9 a.m. Thursday was 3,155 cfs, but got up to 6,289 cfs on Wednesday.
(updated 8-4-2022) Steven “Scuba Steve” Street at Blackburn’s Resort said “The lake level is 560.28 feet msl and has dropped 2.5 inches in the last 24 hours with alternating between one and both generators. The surface water temperature is 85 degrees and the water is clear down to about 20 feet and then gets cloudy after that. The thermocline starts at about 23 feet. The early morning bite for walleye, smaller stripers and hybrids is still the best with after dark largemouth bass fishing next. Bluegill are in main lake cuts in 20 feet of water and catfish are with them. Trotlines with live bluegill and jugs are catching some good ones, but not a lot of quantity. Channel catfishing has been down for me this year, but flatheads have been very good. Kentucky Bass are moving in shallow water in the evening and are feeding on crayfish. Some crappie are moving back onto main lake brush piles, but not a lot. Look for brush that is about 35 feet deep at the bottom and 25 feet deep at the top. Live bait trollers are catching some smaller stripers on shad in the mornings. It is typical early August fishing, but the water is more clear than in previous years.
For a daily fishing report and lake condition go to www.blackburnsresort.com and click on Scuba Steve’s Blog.
(updated 8-4-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Norfork Lake fell 0.8 foot to rest at 5 feet above power pool of 555.75 feet msl and 19.2 feet below the top of the flood pool. The Norfork tailwater also had some wadable water in the past week.
With some limited wadable water on the Norfork the last few days, the most productive flies have been small midge patterns like zebra midges (black or red with silver wire and silver bead). Grasshoppers have produced fish, particularly when used in conjunction with a small nymph dropper (try a size 20 black zebra midge). Double-fly nymph rigs have been very effective. Try a small bead-headed nymph (zebra midge, copper John or pheasant tail) suspended 18 inches below a brightly colored San Juan worm (hot fluorescent pink or cerise). The fishing is much better in the morning and late afternoon and tapers off midday.
Dry Run Creek has fished moderately well. School is out and the creek is busy. Weekends can get quite crowded. The hot flies have been sowbugs, various colored San Juan worms (worm brown, red, hot fluorescent pink and cerise) and white mop flies. Small orange or peach eggs have been very effective.
Buffalo National River/Crooked Creek
(updated 8-4-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said Crooked Creek and the Buffalo River are up. With hot temperatures, the smallmouths are less active. The most effective fly has been a tan and brown Clouser minnow. Carefully check the water level before entering Crooked Creek or the Buffalo River. There are no dams on these streams. They both have large drainages and are prone to flooding during and following any rain event. The water can rise very quickly.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at 1,122.45 feet msl (normal conservation pool: 1,121.43 feet msl; top flood elevation is 1,130.0 feet msl). The Corps released about 3,800 cfs between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
(updated 8-4-2022) Jon Conklin with FishOn Guide Service (479-233-3474) said Beaver lake is about one foot above normal and water remains warm. It did cool some with all the rain in the area last week. Stripers have had an uptick with the recent cloud cover. Look from Rocky Branch on down to the dam. Trolling live bait is putting fish in the boat. Walleye have picked up and are on main lake points and flats in and around 25 feet of water using trolled crawler harnesses. Crappie are good on trolled crankbaits. Good areas to look are up the War Eagle towards Camp War Eagle and flats around the Highway 412 bridge. We are picking up lots of nice channel catfish in the mix with the crappie. Troll any crankbaits that run from 8 to 12 feet deep. Bream are good. Check out Jon’s Facebook page for latest updates, FishOn Guide Service Goshen AR.
(updated 8-4-2022) Southtown Sporting Goods (479-443-7148) said fishing on Beaver is pretty good. The best fishing now is mainly night fishing. Black bass are fair on a hodgepodge of baits, including spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Crappie are fair trolling on minnows and shad. Stripers are being caught in fair amounts in the deep water on the lower end of the lake. Bream are good on redworms and crickets. Catfish also are good. Walleye are fair in deep water on jigs, spoons and bottom bouncers. The lake is clear and at a normal level. No surface temperature was reported.
(updated 8-4-2022) Guide Austin Kennedy (479-244-0039) said this week has been hit and miss on the tailwaters. The Army Corps of Engineers has been starting water generation at around 10 a.m., but that has not stopped the bite. In fact, it increases the bite. The trout have a little more room to move around during the generation. The hot spot for trout this week has been above Spider Creek, and the majority of the stocked trout have been at Parkers Bottom. Most of our fish were caught using light terminal tackle and Pautzke Fire Bait. When the sun moved higher in the sky, we would switch it over to ¼-oz. spoons coated in Pautzke Fire Gel. Try letting the spoon sink a bit before retrieving. The water levels are low, like mentioned above. If you are boating, please be careful. If we can get some overcast or rainy days, the bite should pick up a lot! Try hitting the deeper holes and looking for slack water during generation. The white bass and walleye are still up toward Holiday Island, but you will need to look for them. Jigging live minnows off points and humps has done the trick.
Follow Austin’s Facebook page (Busch Mountain Fishing Guide Service) for daily updates.
(updated 8-4-2022) Lake Fayetteville Boat Dock (479-444-3476) said Tuesday that the lake continues to have a stained clarity and is at a normal level. Bream are good on redworms or crickets. Crappie are fair on jigs. Black bass are good on topwaters and plastic worms. They heard no reports on catfish.
(updated 7-28-2022) Shelly Jeffrey at Lake Charles State Park (870-878-6595) said most of the fishing, other than a crappie bite that is just fair now with the heat, is good. Black bass are good on spinnerbaits, topwater lures, soft plastic worms and live worms. Bream are good on worms and jigs. Catfish are good on worms, blood bait, stink bait and chicken liver. Crappie are fair on minnows, jigs and worms. Monday afternoon’s water temperature was ranging 82-83 degrees. The water level is normal and the clarity is the usual murky.
(updated 7-28-2022) Boxhound Marina (870-670-4496) reported Wednesday that the lake clarity is clear and the level is 1-2 feet below normal pool. The surface water temperature is 85 degrees. Bream are good on the usual redworms and crickets. No crappie have been seen for a while. Black bass are not interested in this heat. Catfishing is good. Use nightcrawlers.
(updated 7-28-2022) Mark Crawford with springriverfliesandguides.com (870-955-8300) said the river has been flowing at 350 cfs and water clarity has been clear. Fish early for trout before it gets too hot. The river is nice and cold all day, but with this heat, the trout still will find the deeper holes. Lots of bugs are hatching early in the morning and late in the evening. On sunny days, nymphing has been hot with bead-headed pheasant tails, copper Johns or prince nymphs. On cloudy days, which have been few, you might get some streamer action. “Olive, brown or black woollies have been my go-to on cloudy days. Those are the days to get the brown trout moving.”
The smallmouth bass have been hitting well in the hotter weather. “The areas we have been chasing smallies has deeper water, and some Woollies tied on jigheads have been hot in black, olive and brown. Weight-forward line with a long leader works great. A sink tip would work, too, but it’s a lot more work to use a sink tip. Rain over the weekend may change conditions. Stay tuned to springriverfliesandguides.com and look at our blog page (springriverfliesandguides.com/blog).
(updated 7-21-2022) John Berry of Berry Brothers Guide Service in Cotter (870-435-2169) said the water level on the Spring River is fishable. This is a great place to wade fish when they are running water on the White and North Fork rivers. Canoe season is in full swing and the boats and rafts are here. Wear cleated boots and carry a wading staff. There is a lot of bedrock that can get very slick. The hot flies have been olive woolly buggers with a bit of flash, cerise and hot pink San Juan worms and Y2Ks.
The Army Corps of Engineers reported Thursday that the White River stage at Batesville was steady at 8.40 feet, more than 6 feet below the flood stage of 15.0 feet. The Newport stage was steady at 12.40 feet (flood stage was 26.00 feet). The stage at Augusta is falling slightly at 24.49 feet, which is slightly below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
There were no new reports in this area.
Arkansas River (Pine Bluff Pool)
On Thursday, the Corps of Engineers said water flow at the Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam at Pine Bluff was 42 cfs. The stage at Pine Bluff is steady at 31.02 feet (flood stage is 42 feet).
(updated 7-28-2022) The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Bass Fishing Team had no report this week.
Cane Creek Lake
(updated 7-21-2022) Jeff Shell, the superintendent at Cane Creek State Park, said Cane Creek Lake water temperatures are running in the mid- to high 90s. Water clarity is about 1.5 feet. Bream fishing has picked up and crickets are the ticket. Early morning and late evening are the best times. Bream are typically being caught on flats at a depth of 1.5 to 2 feet.
Crappie are in their summer pattern and can be found around brush and structure with minnows and crappie jigs. Bass are in their summer pattern and can be found suspended around structure and along the bank in early morning and evening hours. Topwaters and soft plastics are great for working the banks and medium-diving crankbaits and Texas-rigged soft plastics are producing results for suspended fish. Catfish have slowed down; however, as they move to a post-spawn pattern, they can be caught using prepared baits and chicken liver. Check any trotlines often, as higher water temperatures can lead to increased mortality rates.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 259.55 feet msl (normal pool: 259.20 feet msl; top flood elevation is 287.0 feet msl). Total outflow at the dam is 868 cfs, an amount being steadily released this week and for the past couple of weeks.
(updated 8-4-2022) Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said Tuesday afternoon that water clarity is stained along Little River and oxbows. Millwood Lake tailwater elevation is near 225 feet msl with gate discharge at the dam around 870 cfs in Little River, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Watch for random floaters and broken timber during any navigation on Little River and Millwood Lake. Surface temps are stable this week, ranging in 85-90 degrees depending on location and the time of day. River clarity ranges 3-6 inches depending on location. Clarity of the oxbows is about 20-30 inches depending on location. Further up Little River near White Cliffs and Wilton Landing has heavier stain conditions. Largemouth bass have not changed much over the last few weeks. They are best early at daylight to around 9-10 a.m. and at dusk. Midday bites have slowed over the past few weeks with all the dog day summer heat, with the best activity in oxbows up Little River or mouths of creeks and flats draining into Little River. Chunky 2- to 3-pound bass have been striking various topwater lures on shallow flats near stumps and laydowns early for the past few weeks. Bass will randomly bust a buzz bait, Bass Assassin Shad or top water plastic frogs in the pads early. Using bulky brush hogs, Bass Assassin Bang RSB worms and XX Fat Job trick worms in Candy Bug, Gooseberry, Junebug/red or Redbug colors has worked as well. Several schools of juvenile largemouth bass were schooling toward creek channels and deeper ditches that dropped to 12 to 15 feet deep. Try a Cordell Crazy Shad, Pop R, or Boy Howdy in chrome and black back, threadfin shad or bone colors. Check Horseshoe, Clear Lake, and McGuire oxbows. A Bill Lewis SB57 or Echo 1.75 square bill crankbait in Millwood Magic, Ghost Minnow or Bluegill colors also work well. Also try Brazalo spinnerbaits in Spot Remover, Millwood Mayhem Bream and Hot Mouse colors. Bang XX Fat Jobs, Salty Rat Tails and trick worms were randomly working in the edges of new lily pad stands and stumps near drop offs from 7-10 feet deep in the oxbows. The best colors for these have been black and blue tail, blue glimmer or blue ice.
White bass schools are still random and broken, although a few random white bass have been found up Little River. Areas behind points where a little bit of current remains are holding a few broken schools that hit hammered Cordell spoons with a white/chartreuse bucktail, along with a few Kentucky bass, where washouts, ditches or creek dumps exist from 12-16 feet of depth with stumps. White Cliffs campground area and points with drains into Little River gave up a few more whites. Entrance to Snake Creek, Jack’s Isle and Hurricane Creek had a few white bass as well.
Crappie are still hit or miss. Crappie have been suspended in and over planted brush piles in 12-15 feet depth in the oxbows and along Little River. The best bite is from daylight to around 9 a.m. Best colors working over the past couple weeks for jigs have been monkey milk, smokey shad gray colors or on the Southern Pro Crappie Stingers and Lit’l Hustlers have been black/chartreuse, Money, blue/silk/chartreuse swirl and black/orange. Not many catfishermen are on the river over the past few days in this heat. Prior and over last several weeks the blues, flatheads and channels were fair on trotlines, yo-yos and tight lines as long as there was a good bit of current along the Little River. Spoiled chicken livers and gizzards, cut buffalo and shad, homemade cheese dough baits and King’s Punch Bait were working over the past several weeks.
(updated 8-4-2022) Lake Erling Guide Service (870-904-8546) reported Tuesday that the crappie are starting to bite again in 18 feet of water suspended at 8 feet on jigs and minnows. Catfish are excellent on any kind of stink bait. Bream have been fair around the island on crickets. You’ll find black bass are starting to school and biting on topwater.
Lake Greeson Tailwater
Visit www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com for a daily update on fishing conditions.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Narrows Dam was 543.80 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 401.80 feet msl (full pool: 408.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-4-2022) Randy Plyler with Plyler Outdoors Guide Service (870-210-0522) reported that bass fishing has been slow due to the high temperatures that have pushed fish into deep water. With some schooling activity early in the morning lasting until about 10:30 a.m., fish become suspended over deep water, focused on schools of baitfish. Baitfish are small, so use a small spoon or a drop shot rig. Bream have been biting on crickets near brush piles. White bass have been schooling in the mix with the bass early in the morning. No report on Hybrids.
De Queen Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 433.10 feet msl (full pool: 437.00 feet msl).
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 524.67 feet msl (full pool: 526.00 feet msl).
White Oak Lake Area
No reports in this area.
(updated 8-4-2022) Donald Ramirez at Lucky Landing (479-641-7615) said that anglers are reporting catching a few small bass, but that is all he’s heard from his lake.
No reports for this area.
Lake Catherine Tailwater (Below Carpenter Dam)
For weekly flow releases from Carpenter Dam, visit www.entergy.com/hydro
(updated 7-28-2022) Shane Goodner, owner of Catch’em All Guide Service, reported water temperature below the dam is 64 degrees with clear conditions in the tailrace. Rainbow trout fishing remains strong, as good numbers of fish are present and feeding consistently from the bridge to the dam. Normally, rainbow trout fishing is over in July, but earlier flooding has kept large numbers of fish in the area that are healthy. Live bait presentations such as waxworms and mealworms or redworms fished just off the bottom are working best during generation. Little success has been seen using artificial lures as thousands of threadfin shad are in the tailrace. White bass are in and out of the tailrace feeding on shad. Small gray or white 1/8-oz. jigs have accounted for good catches while generators are running. No striper activity has been observed. Flow schedules are available at the Entergy Hydro-Operations website; search for real-time lake levels.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s flow at Dardanelle Lock and Dam as 0 cfs. Elevation was 337.53 feet msl. (Top navigation pool is 338.2 and bottom pool is 336.0.)
(updated 7-28-2022) Greeson Marine, hometown dealer of the Arkansas-born-and-bred Xpress, all-welded, aluminum fishing boats in Hot Springs reports Lake Hamilton lake levels are normal. Water clarity is more than 5 feet everywhere and surface temperatures remain in the high 80s. All species have slowed due to heat and lower water oxygen levels. Bass are fair in the early mornings and at night. Topwater presentations are the best opportunity during the morning, with many fish “breaking” off main lake points and shaded deeper areas near current. It is very important to find current in these dog days of summer. Water current provides oxygen, cooler temperatures and food. Target breaking fish with small Zara Spooks in pearl, silver or clear colors. At night the buzzbait is still king. Black and blue buzzbaits fished in the shallows near current are still producing good fish, but not in the numbers we saw last month.
The real targets of late for sport fisherman have got to be the walleye and striped bass. Whether jigging a spoon vertically or trolling a spoon, look to the deeper areas on the southern end of the lake. “We have put walleye in the boat at deeper than 70 feet and striped bass at depths of 40-50. Both of these species tend to move around all the time, and it’s important to find the baitfish before locating the sport fish. Bream are good everywhere in 10-12 feet of water and preferably in the shade. Use crickets or worms.”
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was at 343.96 feet msl (normal pool: 344.51 feet msl; top flood elevation is 373.0 feet msl).
(updated 8-4-2022) Andrews Bait Shop and More (479-272-4025) said Thursday morning that the lake level is a little low, but the water has good clarity. The surface temperature was 89 degrees. Crappie are good 7-15 ft deep on spider rigs or trolled Bandit crankbaits. Catfish are good on noodles, black salties and small perch. Bass are biting with reports from several people. Bream are good on redworms and crickets.
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation at Blakely Dam was 572.59 feet msl (full pool: 578.00 feet msl).
(updated 8-4-2022) Todd Gadberry at Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (870-867-2191/800-832-2276 out-of-state) said water temperature is ranging a consistent 86-90 degrees. Water clarity is clear. Lake level Thursday was still dropping at 572.75 feet msl. Black bass are still fair, but have slowed. Big Texas-rigged worms or deep-diving crankbaits fished in or near structure are best for these fish, or try a buzzbait-style lure for a topwater bite early or when you have cloud cover. Walleye are excellent. A 3/4-oz. CC spoon vertically jigged near structure or a nightcrawler fished on a drop-shot should produce some of these fish. Stripers are very good. Live bait and trolled hair jigs on the eastern part of the lake are working best. Bream are very good on crickets or worms 15-25 feet deep on structure. Crappie are fair on small jigs or minnows. Try brush 10-20 feet deep. Catfish are good on rod-and-reel, jugs or trotlines with cut bait, shad or nightcrawlers. Call the Mountain Harbor fishing guides (Mike Wurm, 501-622-7717, or Chris Darby, 870-867-7822) for more information.
(updated 7-14-2022) Capt. Darryl Morris of Family Fishing Trips (501-844-5418) said crappie are biting well. Very early in the morning you can catch them as shallow as 8 feet deep on brushpiles with jigs or minnows. As the sun climbs higher in the sky, fish deeper. Many crappie and catfish have been caught as deep as 20 feet.
Blue Mountain Lake
As of Thursday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports the lake’s elevation was 385.75 feet msl (full pool: 387.00 feet msl; top flood elevation is 419.0 feet msl).
No reports. Water is down significantly from the middle of last month, however, and is about at normal pool now.
White River/Clarendon Area
The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday reported the Clarendon gauge is falling at 21.25 feet, almost 5 feet below the flood stage of 26.00 feet.
(updated 8-4-2022) The AGFC’s Wil Hafner at Potlatch Cook’s Lake Nature Center (870-241-3373) says Cook’s Lake is open to fishing for youths under 16 or mobility-impaired anglers, and up to two helpers (who may also fish). Cook’s Lake will be open to fishing during normal business hours Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., water level pending. Fish from the 140-foot mobility-impaired accessible dock or launch a boat. Please call ahead at least a day in advance to register to fish. Before launching, please check in at the Nature Center classroom and report back before leaving. For information or unscheduled closures, please call the center at 870-241-3373. The lake is on a slight rise after the much needed rain, but the action is holding steady at Cook’s Lake. Bass anglers are having the most luck flipping black and red tubes or green pumpkin jigs to cypress trees. Some bass are being caught in deeper water using forward-facing sonar. The bream bite has slowed a bit, but some are still being caught in about 2 feet of water on crickets and redworms. Crappie anglers are finding some as well, but have been very tight lipped.
Note: msl is mean sea level; cfs is cubic feet per second.
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